Some of the common wisdom about music’s ability to evoke emotions is that it’s highly associated with our personal lives. So, it has always been somewhat surprising to me how moved I’ve been over the years by Joni Mitchell’s “Little Green.” I’ve never had a baby, much less given one up for adoption. I suppose I have been left in the lurch by numerous “non-conformers,” but this song also gives us access to a more general sense of regret. There’s the inevitability of sorrow, even if there will also be crocuses, icicles, and birthday clothes. It demonstrates for me, too, the difficulty of social change and upheaval. We usually think of the sixties as this great time, but there were many forgotten individual traumas in all of that.
Joni Mitchell’s song is autobiographical–she gave a daughter up for adoption in 1965 before her career got off the ground. They were reunited in 1997.
I’m not going to outline all the possible comparisons between Joni Mitchell’s out-of-wedlock child and Casey Anthony’s. It’s perhaps grotesque just to mention them in the same post. But I suppose we now all wish that Caylee’s mother had put her up for adoption as she at one point told a friend she wanted to do. There are different kinds of griefs.